New Sexually Transmitted Infection Discovered in US

( – Health authorities are sounding the alarm over emergent and virulent fungal infections following a case in New York City where a man in his thirties contracted a sexually transmitted variant of ringworm — marking the first such incident documented in the United States.

“Healthcare providers should be aware that Trichophyton mentagrophytes type VII [TMVII] is the latest in a group of severe skin infections to have now reached the United States,” Dr. Avrom S. Caplan, an assistant professor in the NYU Grossman School of Medicine’s dermatology department, stated.

Dr. Caplan also contributed to a recent case study released on Wednesday regarding an anonymous New York resident who was diagnosed with TMVII, exhibiting symptoms such as a rash on his penis, buttocks, and limbs, The New York Post reports.

There has been a noticeable increase in TMVII cases in Europe, predominantly among men who engage in sexual activities with other men.

The subject of the case study had traveled to England, Greece, and California, during which he engaged in sexual relations with multiple men, none of whom reported similar dermatological symptoms.

“Since patients are often reluctant to discuss genital problems, physicians need to directly ask about rashes around the groin and buttocks, especially for those who are sexually active, have recently traveled abroad, and report itchy areas elsewhere on the body,” remarked Dr. John G. Zampella, the senior author of the study.

Dr. Zampella added that although TMVII infections typically respond to conventional antifungal treatments like terbinafine (commercially known as Lamisil), recovery can extend over several months.

These infections may also be mistaken for eczema-induced lesions, which can consequently delay appropriate treatment.

An additional troublesome and infectious skin condition resembling TMVII is presenting significant challenges to dermatologists.

Trichophyton indotineae, predominantly observed in India and first identified in the U.S. last year, frequently exhibits resistance to terbinafine, according to the research team from NYU Grossman School of Medicine.

Their analysis covered eleven patients treated for Trichophyton indotineae in NYC hospitals from May 2022 to May 2023.

Seven of these patients were administered standard terbinafine dosages; however, their conditions persisted, potentially due to genetic mutations in the fungus.

The antifungal medication itraconazole demonstrated more promising results, although Dr. Caplan warned that it could interact adversely with other medications and induce side effects such as nausea and diarrhea.

Despite these challenges, Dr. Caplan indicated that dermatologists should remain vigilant for TMVII and Trichophyton indotineae, even though the prevalence in the U.S. is currently minimal.

“These [initial] findings offer new insight into how some of the fungal skin infections spreading from South Asia can evade our go-to therapies,” Dr. Caplan observed.

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